1. After much consideration, the BBC has refused to ban the song ‘Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead’ in its weekend chart show. The tune from The Wizard of Oz was pushed up the charts by critics of Margaret Thatcher, after the former prime minister died of a stroke at age 87 on Monday. By Friday, the song had reached number one on the British iTunes.
Number 10 Downing Street has released a statement saying Margaret Thatcher will be farewelled in a private service, attended by only 100 of her closest family, friends, and senior political figures, a day before her massive public funeral.
2. Simon Crean, who was sacked from his cabinet position in March, has publicly attacked Prime Minister Julia Gillard, saying she has a “tin ear” for political strategy. Mr Crean is also quoted telling Fairfax media, “She’s gone the class warfare,” referring to Ms Gillard’s position on cutting welfare payments to recipients who are middle-class.
3. Russian President Vladimir Putin has revealed a plan to invest $US50 million into space science, to maintain the country’s position as a top space power.
4. A group of 14 asylum seekers were rescued by Indonesian fishermen after their boat sank in the Sunda Strait on Wednesday. At least five individuals drowned. The group was all were ethnic Hazara from Afghanistan, and traveling to Australia.
5. News Ltd reported today that “a Belarusian man has met a grisly fate at the hands of a large, semi-aquatic rodent”. The 60-year-old Belarusian fisherman received a fatal wound when a beaver bit him, and severed an artery in his thigh.
6. An actress has lost a court case against IMDb.com for publishing her correct date of birth. 41-year-old Huong Hoang, otherwise known as Junie Hoang, initially told IMDb that she was born in 1978 when she created her acting profile. In fact, she was born in 1971. Hoang claimed IMDb’s publication of such information was damaging to her career, as ‘in the entertainment industry, youth is king’.
7. A powerful 6.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan early this morning, in the Seto Inland Sea.
On Tuesday a 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit Iran’s shores, only 150 kilometres from Iran’s only nuclear reactor. That day the country celebrated National Nuclear Technology Day.